Jul 31 2015

Report: Experienced Teachers Soar in Tech-Enabled Classrooms

One finding from the SIIA Vision K-12 Survey could turn the tables on the perception of digital natives’ technological expertise.

Teachers are getting more comfortable and more ambitious with devices in the classroom, according to an annual report on technological integration in schools.

This year’s Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Vision K–20 Survey continues that trend, with added emphasis on the growth of student data usage. The majority of respondents say student data collection has grown in the past two years, with data used primarily to track student performance and improve instruction.

However, educators crave more training in order to fully make use of student data, according to the survey.

Donelle Blubaugh, the education program manager at SIIA, said this year’s report shows incremental growth in the use of education technology in classrooms, but it’s still far from most educators’ ideal views of how technology should function in the classroom.

Blubaugh and Karen Billings, vice president and managing director for the Education Technology Industry Network of SIIA, reviewed the study’s findings on the July 23 edition of Education Talk Radio.

During the show, Billings shared a surprising result from the survey that turns the tables on the perception of digital natives’ technological expertise. Respondents were asked to rate their own levels of technology integration in the classroom.

“The older, more experienced teachers did score themselves a bit further along — a bit higher — in the benchmarks, than beginning ones. That was a little surprising,” Billings said.

That could indicate that teachers who are just starting out in classrooms are overwhelmed by other factors, and even though they are digital natives, they don't develop mastery with new  technological concepts as quickly as more experienced teachers who already have a handle on their classroom, Billings added.

The finding also reflects the results of research in 2014, which found that students raised around technology are no more technologically proficient than their teachers.

Following are a few other key results from the 2015 SIIA study. The complete report can be downloaded for free.

5 Highlights from the Survey

  • "Older and more experienced participants give higher current usage scores than do younger participants."

  • "The top two most important ways digital student data is currently used in both K-12 and Postsecondary is to ‘track student performance’ and ‘improve instruction.’ "

  • "A vast majority (almost 70 percent) of the participants in both K-12 and Postsecondary report the use of technology to collect, manage, and report individual student data has increased or increased significantly in the last two years."

  • "Both K-12 and Postsecondary segments say that increased training to use data systems would do the most to support the effective use of individual student data in digital form at their educational institution, with little variation by educational level."

  • "Bandwidth and training identified as critical unmet needs for K-12."


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